UPM HR Service Center in Kraków, Poland, is a hub of 85 HR experts. Teams are divided by regions. German and Finnish teams are the largest ones, employing 15 to 20 people each. We met Andrea and Samir to ask about their work.
In large country teams, responsibilities are divided in three areas: HR administration, training organisation and recruitment support. In smaller country teams, everybody does everything. HR Specialists Andrea Schummer and Samir Itani have worked in Kraków at the UPM HR Service Center since 2015.
“I started in the German training organisation,” says Andrea. “Training teams organise trainings for various UPM locations, from booking the training to communicating with the organisers and all the way to the invoicing,” Andrea describes. She enjoyed her work from the very beginning, but wanted also to develop in her work. Last year she moved to recruitment team.
“In this work, you get to be in contact with a lot of people. We get calls from candidates about open positions and how to apply. We assist managers to find suitable candidates and schedule the interviews,” Andrea explains. She can use both German and English in her work. Her days start normally with daily team meetings, where the team divides work, discusses what are the top priorities and decides what to do.
Samir from the Finnish team started his HR career in the training division as well and moved to administration team last autumn.
“Admin team takes care of the whole employee life cycle within the company. We help to prepare the employment contract and keep the employee database updated. Our work deals with benefits, promotion, job change and so on. Basically, all data and salary information goes through administration team”, Samir tells about his work. He adds that an important task is to provide support for managers and employees.
Can’t get bored in HR!
Andrea and Samir are very happy with the learning opportunities in the HR Service Center.
“You can change to another country team and learn how things are done there. For example, the labour law is different in Germany than in France. You can also take part in individual projects in other teams,” Andrea says. “Work rotation is a good advantage, you get to develop and learn new skills,” Samir agrees.
Both Andrea and Samir like the fact that the daily tasks vary and there’s all the time something new to learn. They also have very unified opinion about the challenges. “Prioritising is the tricky part,” they say. “Sometimes it is difficult to decide which of the many requests and tasks are the most important ones. But you’ll learn that in time,” Samir adds.
And which skills and qualities they see beneficial for working in the HR Service Center?
“It’s important to have an open mindset and be able to think from different perspectives,” says Samir. “And willingness to take on new responsibilities is a plus.”
Andrea continues that problem-solving skills are important at the job. “Employees or managers ask for help and turn to us for solution. You’ll also need to have empathy, be able to talk with people and have a general understanding of what is happening in a certain location.” Andrea and Samir conclude that social skills in general are important in the HR Service Center. “We often have lively discussions during lunch or coffee,” they laugh.
We are frequently looking for new team members. Check out our open vacancies.